Life’s a Blur!

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It’s been crazy town up in here lately. The blur of the semester finishing, starting a new position, a week of travel, oh-and sleep. You know, that thing that’s super important? Yeah, I was deficient in that category too! Life has been very good to me lately and because I’ve been too busy to cook anything, I thought I’d give a “life update” in pics!

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I’ve been running on a solid regimen of caffeine the past few weeks. Only in the last three or four days have I started to keep normal sleep hours again. Until those nights of solid sleep started, coffee was basically my bestie, my soulmate, my one-and-only….

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Along with the slow down, I’ve taken a little time to enjoy the finer things in life: homemade pizza crust and catching up on all the Oscar nominated movies from Redbox. American Hustle = thumbs up. The Wolf of Wall Street = thumbs down.

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My friends: heat and humidity have returned. My hair tells me so. My mileage has been consistent, hovering around 17 min/walking mile. Won’t complain.

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Celebrations are usually in order! I have transitioned to a new position! Same university, went back to agriculture and I’m so pleased thus far.

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I was in DC for a week and some mighty fine people stayed at my house: friends from undergrad! They were traveling through and I was happy to leave a spare key for them. Lots of fun things waited for me when I returned home, a dog to watch for a few days, some pretty flowers, gifts from my old students, etc… can’t get enough sunshine!

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A recent hike to a favorite spot yielded this beautiful shot. It was unusually cool a few weeks ago, perfect for hiking.

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And yes, I love where I live! I’ll get back in the kitchen soon, but until then…..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three Ingredient Barbecue Sauce

3 Ingredient BBQ Sauce | Domesticated Academic

Three ingredients. That’s all you need to make a simple, easy, and tasty barbecue sauce! I love this sauce since I can add things to my own taste or what I think my audience might like around my table. Start with the basic recipe and go from there. I think you’ll find this super easy to make and modify to your own kitchen. Equal parts start you off, but modify, modify, modify!

3 Ingredient BBQ Sauce | Domesticated Academic

My sister first made this sauce years ago when we were vacationing in Florida on a family vacation and it’s been a staple for me in the kitchen ever since. I’d like to sell this as a recipe where you know what’s going in it, but let’s face it, ketchup is one crazy condiment and worcestershire sauce is equally elusive with the ingredient list. It does keep well in the fridge so don’t be afraid to make a large batch and keep it on hand. Glaze your meat with it during the last flip to get a good caramelization without burning too much. All that sugar is bad news for the grill so use caution.

I like sautéing a clove of garlic in a bit of olive oil first to make the batch extra garlic-licious. I also like adding Sriracha to my finished sauce to give it some more kick. Black pepper, red pepper flakes, soy sauce to give it a sweeter and more teriyaki like flavor is also an excellent option. If you want it thinner and more “southern style–NC,” get after some vinegar in this for that tang that you can’t miss. If you’re not a fan of the Worcestershire sauce, cut the amount right out of the gate by half and you can always add it back in gradually. Modify this by adding more or removing the three basic ingredients to get it where you like it. This is a flexible recipe that will tolerate tons of alterations.

You’ll need:

15 minutes

makes about 1 cup

  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
  1. Bring all ingredients to a low simmer in a small saucepan on the stove.
  2. Make sure it’s not burning the bottom of the pan.
  3. Simmer for about 10 minutes until ingredients are combined and begin to reduce and thicken.

Bacon Wrapped Chicken | Domesticated Academic

Bacon Wrapped Chicken

grilled peaches |domesticated academic

Grilled Peaches

 

Citrus Infused Spa Water & My Favorite Warm Weather Recipes

Citrus Infused Spa Water | Domesticated Academic

You’ll love this water because it’s refreshing and light tasting without being ‘boring,’ you can add some simple syrup, dress it up, or dress it down, and it feels like going to the spa. Serve this up with a garnish on the side or use it as the base for a great vodka tonic–add some club soda and vodka and you’ve got a great happy hour cocktail! I follow a detox water account on instagram and was inspired to pick up some fresh and cost effective citrus at the grocery store. I look forward to infusing my water with fresh berries as they come around this spring and summer, but for now, citrus and mint will have to do on my budget.

Citrus Infused Spa Water | Domesticated Academic

I used mason jar so I could mix up the flavors, but you’re smart–go ahead and make a big pitcher. I also cut the water when I drank it because it was quite strong from sitting overnight. It’s all a matter of preference. The mint gives it a light touch without being too much.

Citrus Infused Spa Water | Domesticated Academic

Mint tends to be a bit pricey in the store and many of us find that it wilts and goes bad within days. To keep it longer, use the leaves from the base of the stems for this and then submerge the rest in water, like flowers and cover with a plastic bag. Put it in the fridge and it will last for weeks. I do this with my cilantro and many fresh herbs to get the most bang for my buck.

Citrus Infused Spa Water | Domesticated Academic

You’ll need:

  • 1 lemon
  • 1 lime
  • 1/2 navel orange
  • 2 sprigs of fresh mint (7-10 leaves worth)
  • 1/2 cup sliced strawberries
  • 1/2 cup cubed pineapple
  • container(s)
  1. Thinly slice the fruit and distribute in jars or container
  2. Muddle the mint: you can do this by breaking the leaves or smashing them a bit. Add them to the containers
  3. Fill with water and seal/put lids on, etc….
  4. Let sit in fridge overnight or at least an hour.
  5. If you make a large batch & want to keep it around, consider straining out the fruit/rinds. It will make the water start to turn bitter after about a day.
  6. Enjoy!

Infused Water | Domesticated Academic

Infused Water | Domesticated Academic

 

Grill season is here! Fresh produce, grilling out, and awesome summer fun is just around the corner-check out some of my personal favorites!

Bacon Wrapped Chicken | Domesticated Academic

Bacon Wrapped Chicken

balsamicturkeyburger1 (Small)

Balsamic Turkey Burgers

grilled peaches |domesticated academic

Grilled Peaches

Healthy Flatbread Pizza | Domesticated Academic

Grilled Flatbread Pizza

Cilantro Lime Skewers | Domesticated Academic

Cilantro Lime Skewers

Balsamic green beans & cherry tomatoes w parm

Balsamic Green Beans With Tomatoes |Domesticated Academic

Warm weather means bountiful produce and I’m thinking ahead to fresh beans cooked with fresh cherry tomatoes and topped with some balsamic vinegar and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese! Is your mouth watering too?

Balsamic Green Beans With Tomatoes |Domesticated Academic

I was lamenting that it was cold and yucky during a stretch of rainy weather and took to the grocery store to cheer me up. Not exactly a good coping technique, but thankfully, I made this healthy choice! Fresh green beans were looking good and a pint of festive cherry tomatoes also landed in my basket to be whisked away to an exotic location: my kitchen. Cook the beans to your desired tenderness, I prefer to keep them a bit firm, the same with the tomatoes-do what you like to eat.

You’ll need:

20 min.

  • 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • olive oil
  • 1 lb. green beans, trimmed
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 2-3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • parmesan cheese
  1. Saute the onion and garlic in olive oil on medium heat until they become translucent.
  2. Add green beans and chicken stock. Put a lid on the pan so the beans will cook down until desired tenderness, about 8 minutes.
  3. Add cherry tomatoes and balsamic vinegar.
  4. Turn heat off of pan and cover. Let stand for about two minutes, or until cherry tomatoes are heated through or starting to break down.
  5. Finish with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Sprinkle parm over the top before serving.

Veggie Noodles | Domesticated Academic

Veggie Noodles

Spicy Bacon Sprouts | Domesticated Academic

Spicy Bacon Sprouts

Spring in an Instagram

It’s been a busy and beautiful spring!

I have neglected to post  a photo or two a week so you’re getting dumped on with some of my favorite views of spring!

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Sunny days in my town. Football anyone? Not a bad view for a lunch that I was invited too.

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I hit the road for work. DC never lets me down and the food scene was delicious! I’d weight 50 more pounds if I lived there. Made me miss the days of working/living there, but I didn’t miss the horns, sirens, sounds, terrible water, traffic at all hours of the day.

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Easter greeted me with daffodils, sunshine, and a really FUN dinner w friends.

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The heavenly looking campus where I hang my work hat.

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My family and I met up for our annual spring vacation. The Great Smokey Mountain National Park was this years destination and we had some great hiking weather! Looks like we might go back next year to see the “other side” of the park and the train museum. My dad is a big train fanatic. We stayed in a lovely cabin in the middle of the mountains with a great porch, grill, hot tub, and every little amenity you could ask for. It was lovely.

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Remembering to take time to relax has also stayed at the top of the list. I’ve been reading at a ravenous pace this spring. Good thing there’s an extensive library at my disposal. Remembering to take good care of myself has remained at the top of the list and as I lay on the massage table the other day, my massage therapist reminded me hit yoga, stay limber, and keep working to minimize stress in my life.

I hope your Spring has been as beautiful as mine and has filled your bucket with immense gifts!